Moments after alighting from school van, a boy, 5, was kidnapped on Wednesday afternoon from outside his house at Ranjit Avenue here.
Four men on two motorcycles took away the child, Harwanshbir Singh, before he could enter the gates, the police have said. It happened in Block 'E' of the posh area where crime has intensified of late.
The victim, son of a schoolteacher, reads in Class 1. There is no ransom call yet and the police are working on multiple theories to get to the kidnappers. Amritsar police commissioner Jatinder Singh Aulakh led the first-response team that reached the boy's door and spent an hour with the family.
"Eyewitness accounts suggest that that the gang was waiting in ambush at the main gate of the boy's house. We are working fast to recover the child and catch all the culprits," said the police commissioner. He confirmed that the family had received no ransom call yet and that he had reviewed the footage from a surveillance camera positioned on a house opposite across the street.
The police also rounded up the school-van driver and his helper and questioned them in detail about the boy, whose family is in shock. The child's father, Harpinder Singh, schoolteacher at Patti in Tarn Taran district, couldn't' even speak because of the trauma. The boy's uncle, Sukhbir Singh, said crying: "We have no enmity with anyone. We pray to God that our child is released."
GS Chinna, owner of the house where the family lives, is an eyewitness. "I had just come to my house from work when I saw from a window that two men stood inside the main gate. I raised an alarm and asked them who they were but, in the meantime, the boy came home and they grabbed him and got away on a motorcycle. They had the help of two more motorcyclists standing outside. I chased them but in vain," he recalled.
Chinna claimed that the helper had never come down from the school van to escort the boy home. "I never saw him. Had the boy been dropped inside the gate, he would have been unharmed," he said.
The boy's parents had moved into Ranjit Avenue only a few days ago from a village near Patti.